Sunday, September 5, 2010

"Epic" Lunch Bag

Well, it's that time of year again, and this time around, DD13 finds herself needing a lunch bag. She and her dad were grocery shopping one day and purchased a bag of basmati rice -- a new love of hers, especially if it is accompanied by Indian food. They noted that the burlap rice bag could be transformed into an awesome lunch bag. Well, a tote bag is exactly what I envisioned when I saw the rice bag, too! So I asked if I might have the honours of creating the bag. I couldn't find any specific online tutorials, so today, I set to work just winging it  . . .

DD13 chose the fabric on the left because it reminded her of her MSN theme, and there was red to go with the red in the bag -- oh, and my observation -- pink to go with the colour in her hair ; -) So, we started with these:

I basically followed the same steps as I did for my journal tote bag, except that I wanted the lining to be wipeable. I considered using an old tablecloth for the lining, but the selection in our home was limited to ones that have already been recycled as art tablecloths, and are therefore covered in paint. But then I had the rather brilliant (if I do say so myself) idea of using self-sticking vinyl to protect the fabric on the inside of the bag! So, I took this, which I always have on hand from the dollar store:

. . . and just lay my piece of lining fabric face-down on it, then trimmed the excess vinyl:

Voila! I had vinyl covered fabric!

At this point, I was on a roll, so I decided I'd make a little pocket for the inside of the bag. I didn't want to pin it and make holes in the plastic, so I used some easy-to-see, decorative tape to keep it in place while I sewed (I didn't worry about finished edges on this pocket, since it had the vinyl to keep it neat, and it wouldn't be very visible anyway):

Pretty nifty, eh?

At this point, I should have sewed on the velcro that I wanted to use so the bag could be secured shut. However, I was so thrilled by how everything was working out that I forgot, and had to do it AFTER I had already sewed the lining together :{ It meant I had to crinkle the plastic a bit more than I would have liked, but it still worked : -)

The biggest challenge was attaching the lining to the rice bag -- the edges of the burlap were quite bulky, and I was afraid that when it was all atached there'd be all kinds of ugly bumps and gathers because of the way the two parts were NOT fitting together. However, it actually worked out pretty well! You'll notice that I added a pocket to the outside, just for fun, with some beads that I thought gave it a bit more of an Indian feel. What do you think?

This is the other side, where I secured the two original handles just as little dangly do-dads:

And here's a (blurry) peek inside the finished bag:

DD13 gave it the thumbs up and said it was an "EPIC lunchbag" : -)

While I was making her lunch bag, she was busy being creative herself. She didn't like the plain white dividers I gave her, so she took some scrapbooking paper and turned these:

Into these:

Pretty spiffy, don't you think? And the dear girl is putting the art tab first because that's her favourite subject! Ha! I love it!
Have you done anything creative in preparation of the new school year? Share about it in a comment!

I'm linking this post to:

The DIY Show Off


  1. Great job! You have a very cute blog here. I'm visiting from Made bY you Monday! I'm a follower! Stop by Sassy Sites when you get a chance! xoxo

    Marni @ Sassy Sites!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Great idea with the stick on vinyl! I have some PUL film that I was going to use, and while it would make the bag leakproof, it's not 'wipeable' as the PUL is hidden inside between two layers of fabric. "Angry Chicken" has a recent tutorial on how to make a snack bag with a fold over top like the plastic sandwich bags (she doesn't like to use plastics with food though). I was planning to make some sandwich wrappers with some PUL fabric I have left from diaper making, but I'm not sure if they're big enough (and my husband probably wouldn't like the girly prints, LOL).

  4. Thanks for visiting my blog! PUL is 'poly urethane laminate'. Basically, a plastic film that is heat bonded to fabric to make it waterproof. Sometimes I forget that the cloth diaper sewing world is off in it's own universe sometimes. You can also buy the plastic film with it not bonded to fabric, it's kind of like sewing with heavy duty saran wrap, LOL.

  5. Well hey -- ya learn something new every day! Can you buy the PUL and heat bond it to whatever fabric you want, or do you buy the fabric already with the PUL on it? Either way, it sounds really cool!


Sincere responses . . .

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